back to article Opera for iPhone: The review

At last. Apple approved Opera's Mini browser for the iPhone overnight, and in in a few hours it's already attracted over 150 reviews. They're not all positive, and not all accurate, but it's an indication of how much interest there is in a better browser. While Safari was the jewel in the crown of the iPhone user interface, it …

COMMENTS

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Proof of concept.

    As a proof of concept it's excellent, and I have no doubt that this is exactly what it is. It's got a long way to go before it can be considered a finished product. I'd like to see the UI made more iPhone-like. Other than that, good V1.0 effort. Can we have a finished 10.50 for Mac and Linux now, please!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Gates Halo

      @sbuk

      "It's got a long way to go before it can be considered a finished product."

      Err, well it is a finished product because it's released and available for everyone's iPhone from the appStore now!

      I'm sure you'd like to see improvement in subsequent versions, and I'm certain they shall come. But the 'proof of concept' mantra makes you look like a devout Safari user chewing on a wasp!

      It can't be a good V1.0 *and* a proof of concept. That precedes a prototype, let alone a beta version.

      Anyway, there's *always* more to be done on all mobile browsers, be it Opera 3 for the Psion 5 in 2000 or Opera Mini for the iPhone a decade later.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I here what you are saying...

        Not sure if it warranted that level of pedantry though! I wasn't having a go, merely calling it as I saw it. The release feels very beta. That's all. How is what I said an mantra given that Opera themselves have said this was about testing the water with Apple? How does my wishing it felt more iPhone-like make me a "Safari user chewing on a wasp!" Maybe I wasn't particularly clear, but that was a bit harsh.

  2. Steve Pettifer
    Boffin

    Just a thought...

    ...but I imagine that many of the glitches that you raise will be addressed by the Opera boffins in their usual fashion (i.e. they actually listen to their users) but I imagine that with no guarantee that it would be accepted given the precedents and constraints on such an app there had to come a point where they stopped polishing it because there was no guarantee that the work would be worth it. Now that it's live and working (and yes, I downloaded it this morning and so far I do like it, but then I don't do a massive amount of mobile browsing except idle Google searches, rugby/cricket/golf commentaries/scores, news etc etc etc, the issues with things like Slashdot won't bother me. Speed is phenomenal compared to Safari which is the most important aspect for me).

  3. davefb
    Happy

    so does that mean

    opera will be shouting at the EU for apple to require a 'which browser' button?

    Still 10/10 for opera actually getting this onto the iphone, well done :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Why?

      Why would Opera be shouting at the EU?

  4. Lutin

    Speed Dial

    The speed dial doesn't actually load all the pages whenever you view it. When you add a page to speed dial, it simply goes to the url to get and image of the website and then caches it. But it only does this when you add a new a page and never again.

  5. CD001

    Umm..

    ------

    And what's a web browser supposed to do, other than get you to some web pages fast? (Er... web and Flash developers: please post your thoughtful essays in the bin.)

    ------

    Ummm - I am a web developer and my thoughtful essay about what web browsers are supposed to do is simply: agreed - that's what a web browser IS supposed to do - anything else is extra (including Flash, JavaScript and so on).

    So there :P

    I guess that's what makes me a developer rather than a designer maybe.

  6. Mark C Casey
    Thumb Down

    Default search sucks

    Because it goes through operas proxy page cruncher Google thinks you're in a nordic country or something..

    So a search for "bbc" (for example) results in this: http://imgur.com/pCkZ0.png

    You can't change the default away from Google.com so if you want relevant searches by going to say google.co.uk you have to:

    1. Press the search box

    2. Press the down arrow

    3. Scroll down to your manually added Google UK

    4. Enter what you want to search for etc.

    After a very short amount of time this gets really annoying.

    Also, Googles cool iphone type pages don't work on opera mini.

    I am referring to this: http://imgur.com/hJ38U.png

  7. Craigness

    Security?

    (How) does security and animation work when everything is done on Opera's servers?

    1. Dan 10

      Workaround

      Could you work around this with a custom search? So appending any search with a string for google.co.uk?

      I've not downloaded it yet, so haven't tried - just a thought, that's all.

      I expect that now Opera know that their browser is actually allowed on the iPhone, we'll see some good further efforts to refine the product.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      Google's fault

      "Also, Googles cool iphone type pages don't work on opera mini."

      That's Google's fault for not sending the right page to Opera.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Security

      All communication between the client and server is encrypted.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        re: Security

        No it bloody isn't. There are a multitude of commentards on here who believe that security means "it's encrypted".

        Let's get it straight. Data is encrypted between https://www.mybank.com and Opera. IT IS THEN DECRYPTED. Opera then render, compress and encrypt the data stream, and send it to your iPhone. I've put the flaw in block capitals so that you might spot it. It really saddens me that my assumptions tell me the people reading these articles are IT folk and think that chain represents a secure connection.

        You're having to trust a third party you have no connection or involvement with. To put it another way, what would the reaction be if it were Google doing it.

  8. Jon Wilson
    Stop

    "Pinch-to-zoom isn't implemented, and after a while you start to miss it."

    Isn't it? It works for me. Wonder what's wrong there - is it different on disparate devices? 3gs certainly does have it.

  9. Michael Jennings

    Pleasing all round

    I can't blame Opera for not going to too much trouble to customise it to the iPhone just yet, given that they did not know whether Apple would accept it or not. Now that they know they are not wasting my time, I suspect that they probably will, or at least I hope they will.

    My thoughts using it are similar to yours - it is really fast, and I missed pinch to zoom.

    The real thing is that we now have browser competition on the iPhone. This is great. Some praise is due to Apple for allowing it.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    " ... so some choice is long overdue"

    And has been available for well over a year, if the author of the article could have been bothered to look. Other than the proxy compression, many browsers on the iPhone have offered one or more of all the other features that the article mentions.

    iCab mobile in particular has offered them all and a lot, lot more:

    Optional site compression? Yes (via Google in this case).

    Disable images? Yes.

    Offline browsing? Yes.

    Session saving? Yes.

    Downloads? Yes.

    Private browsing? Yes.

    Ad blocking? Yes.

    Browser spoofing? Yes.

    Orientation lock? Yes.

    Kiosk (fullscreen) mode? Yes.

    Password protected form auto-fill? Yes.

    Controlled tabbed browsing (i.e. prompts to open links in fore or background, etc.)? Yes.

    Domain specific tabbed browsing (i.e. open links from same domain in a different way to those from other domains, such as in tab versus new tab)? Yes.

    Default search engine choice? Yes.

    Ability to add other search engines? Yes.

    Cookie editing? Yes.

    Modules to add JS functionality? Yes.

    Bookmark export and synching? Yes.

    The majority of those options were present in version 1.0. A few have been added since the initial release. Opera Mini offers nothing new other than poor rendering and a loss of your browsing privacy to Opera.

  11. Annihilator
    Thumb Up

    Orientation lock

    Missing a soft-orientation lock for browsing in bed. Other than that, a pretty good effort given they couldn't easily do a public beta process like most modern-day developments.

    Not keen on the zooming yet - single tap for zoom is just bound to have problems.

    How much I trust Opera to potentially hold all my browsing history - I don't know

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Judging by their desktop browser...

      ... they're running around now half-implementing controls that look a little like the OS's built in ones and writing their own duplicates of any OS-wide services that people find helpful, so that they can claim full integration in whatever press release space they have spare between their ongoing complete reinventions of the web.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      iCab...

      Unfortunately, iCab is horrible and slow. Opera Mini is MUCH faster.

    3. Steven Knox
      FAIL

      Privacy?

      "iCab mobile in particular has offered them all and a lot, lot more:

      Optional site compression? Yes (via Google in this case).

      Opera Mini offers nothing new other than ... a loss of your browsing privacy to Opera."

      Are you actually saying that you'd prefer to give a list of all of the pages you visit to Google rather than to Opera?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        **Optional**

        Personally, no I wouldn't, which is why I don't use this **optional** feature.

        However, for those who are happy to let Opera invade their privacy, I assume they would also have no problems with Google.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      agreed - pinch-zoom works on my iPod touch 3rd gen

      so I don't know what the reviewer is talking about

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      iCab yes

      iCab is excellent.

      Proxy compression? No thanks.

  12. Forename Surname

    Yes, but is it secure?

    Can a knowledgeable person comment on the security aspects of Opera Mini and its proxy servers?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, Opera Mini is secure

      Why not go to Opera's website and get your answer directly from the moose's mouth? It'll be quicker and more reliable than waiting for another commenter to post a reply:

      http://www.opera.com/mobile/help/faq/#security

      1. Frank Bitterlich
        WTF?

        Strange definition of "secure"

        From the FAQ:

        "Q: Can I browse securely with Opera Mini?

        A: Yes.

        [...]

        Q: Is there any end-to-end security between my handset and — for example — paypal.com or my bank?

        A: No. If you need full end-to-end encryption, you should use a full Web browser such as Opera Mobile."

        Oh. So Opera Mini is secure, but only if you don't use it. That's the strangest definition of security I've read for some time...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          FUD

          You curiously edited out just one FAQ:

          Q: Does Opera Mini support encrypted connections?

          A: Yes. Information sent between your handset and the Web site is encrypted in the advanced version of Opera Mini 3.0 and newer versions.

          There then follows a link to "Why does the page information say that the connection is not secure when you said all traffic is encrypted?"

          http://www.opera.com/mobile/help/faq/#encryption

          The last poster couldn't be bothered to look at the FAQ. But you went there, copied & pasted selected snippets and *still* came away asking questions that were already answered.

          I take it you're not so keen on Opera Mini then?

          1. Adam T
            Alert

            Speaking of FUD

            You missed a passage yourself...

            "Yes. Information sent between your handset and the Web site is encry"pted in the advanced version of Opera Mini 3.0 and newer versions.

            In the basic version of Opera Mini 3.0, and in older versions, there is no encryption between your handset and the Opera Mini servers. See a more detailed explanation"

            So what's the iPhone? Basic or Advanced? (it's version 5.0.0176 whatever that's worth)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Black Helicopters

              FUD indeed

              I didn't miss any passage. I provided the link to the full FAQ. The other poster then selectively read and snipped to cause FUD.

              In one sentence, you quote "advanced version of Opera Mini 3.0 and newer versions".

              Then you seem puzzled as to what the iPhone version is and state it as being "version 5.0.0176".

              Do you really need to be led by the hand and have it explained that "version 5.0.0176" comes under the "and newer versions" bit after "version 3.0"? Your spelling and punctuation suggest otherwise, which raises the question of why some people are pursuing a matter that's so clearly laid to rest in Opera's own documentation. Make your own choices about the validity of Wikipedia, but it concurs.

              The advanced release of Opera Mini 3.0 was simply a special edition inbetween V3 and V4. It was essentially made to bring some of the forthcoming V4 features to version 3 for the benefit of its licensees. Version 3.5 may have been a more logical name, but who knows what goes through the minds of the marketing people and the sales people doing deals with handset manufacturers and carriers, whose contracts are very specific about upgrade entitlements.

              Besides, do you really think Apple would approve an app that left its users so exposed to danger? Would they honestly treat their customers that appallingly? And I suspect, given the events leading up to its release, Opera has been scrutinised more than most.

          2. Annihilator
            Boffin

            re: FUD

            Nope, I don't think the edited out FAQ was misleading. There is no secure end-to-end connection available via Opera Mini. End-to-end means there should be no gap between the end user and the hosting server. You are trusting a 3rd party (Opera Software in this case) where normally no 3rd party exists.

            At the end of the day, it's a choice you make. I for one would hesitate to use Opera Mini on any platform for on-line banking. Think about it, you're effectively asking someone you don't know to enter your security details and tell you the result.

      2. JP19

        Re: Yes, Opera Mini is secure

        That FAQ seems quite out of date as it refers to Opera Mini 3. Version 5 is the one released for the iPhone. Also, on the wiki page about Opera Mini it states this:

        "Privacy and security

        When using Opera Mini 4.0 or 3.0 Advanced, the connection between the mobile device and the proxy server is always encrypted for privacy and security. The encryption key is obtained on the first start by requesting that the user press random keys a certain number of times."

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opera_Mini#Privacy_and_security

        However, on the iPhone you are *not* prompted to enter any random keys when first starting. This still leaves a few open questions...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Love it already

    Like it ALOT. Seems alot faster than Safari, renders very well, and on metered connections can save MASSIVE amounts of money in data charges.

    I've already been converted to Opera Desktop 10.51, as it's also very quick, looks great and is fully loaded with features, without looking and feeling like it's loaded with features.. (I got sick of Firefox's bloat at turns up every time you want something trivial added), Opera seems to have it built in, for free and without the bloat.

    I've hapilly moved from Firefox to Opera in the desktop, and I can see myself moving from Safari to Opera in my iPhone too...

    Happy Days...

  14. Patrick O'Reilly
    Thumb Up

    Re: Rendering Glitches & Security

    As Opera proxy's the pages through their servers updates to the way the pages are rendered is done centrally meaning that the browsing experience can go through many versions without have to get the end user to upgrade. As Opera uses the same servers for all their Opera Mini clients (J2ME, Blackberry, Android & iPhone) those changes will be made just as soon as the team port over the core rendering engine from the desktop browser.

    Opera Mini 5 has been more of a cosmetic upgrade as the fullpage browsing experience that has been present on devices running Opera Mini 4 since late 2007, has remained largely unchanged.

    Re: Security

    On first load Opera Mini prompts the user for some random input inorder to salt key generation, which is used to encrypt the communication between the Opera Mini client and the Opera servers. Therefore between you and Opera the pipe is encrypted. When browsing public sites, the connection between Opera and that site can then be protected by SSL if the HTTPS version of the public site is being used.

    Therefore the only potential break in end-to-end encryption is when the page is rendered by Opera on their servers, and Opera have a great security/privacy record.

  15. Lutin

    @AC 12.59

    "Opera Mini offers nothing new other than poor rendering and a loss of your browsing privacy to Opera."

    Speed. It offers faster speeds than any other iPhone browser. Did you read the article? It's basically Opera's USP. It's right here, the first feature that's mentioned on the opera mini homepage:

    http://www.opera.com/mobile/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Did you read mine?

      Site compression has been possible in iCab mobile for months now (as long as you were willing to sacrifice your privacy to Google - not for me, but nor is Opera mini, regardless of speed gains). Blockable images have been in iCab mobile for well over a year now.

      Opera mini offers nothing *new* to the iPhone platform. It has no USPs. The author of the article was too damned lazy to find this out and report it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Not site compression

        Opera Mini doesn't do site compression, it does remote rendering and compresses the result. This makes a vast difference to both the size of data, and the type of data, meaning that the true bandwidth possibilities of 3G can be used, rather than the latency wrecked http transmissions usual with the iPhone. It might be that iCab also does remote rendering and compression of the result - but you definitely didn't say that in your marketing spiel further up the thread.

    2. JP19
      WTF?

      Re: Security

      "On first load Opera Mini prompts the user for some random input inorder to salt key generation.."

      Errr... I wasn't prompted to provide any random input when I installed the app.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Import bookmarks from Safari..

    A tip in how to get your Bookmarks from Safari into Opera.

    http://my.opera.com/chooseopera/blog/2010/04/13/how-to-import-your-bookmarks-to-opera

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flash?

    No mention that flash sites now appear correctly. Is this because they don't/can't as they're interactive and the remote rendering breaks them? Want to understand as this could be a good app to get certain fun sites to work properly on my Touch.

  18. Russ Tarbox
    Thumb Up

    It's replaced Safari on my dock...

    ...so so fast, especially as I'm on the original iPhone it was a no-brainer! Now, if only they'd implement a proper autocomplete feature on their desktop browser as well...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      Fear of Flash

      You won't hear any love for Flash from these fake-geeks, these guys are all non-programmers ("web developers") who fear Flash (and therefore hate it) because they realize they're incapable of learning a true OOP language (AS3) and they fear for their jobs as HTML jockeys.

      That's the ENTIRE reason for all the Flash hate - fear of losing their jobs. And you know what?They're right.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Troll

        As an OOP programmer...

        ...I can tell you that people hate flash because it is shit.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Stop

        re: Fear of Flash

        Ming the Merciless certainly fears Flash.

        Flash is an abomination to web standards. Effectively you're downloading a browser with each website when you've got a perfectly good one already running. Search engines fail to penetrate it, screen readers don't stand a chance and suddenly every page is 10x the size. It is absolutely the worst idea since the "web developers" came up with the idea of using tables as a layout tool.

      3. Cazzo Enorme

        Re: Fear of Flash

        I program in C, C++ and Java for a living. I have no fear of Flash. I do have a laugh at the ActionScript though - it's a piss poor programming language. As for losing my job, I know the feature set of Flash very well, and there's no way it's can replace what I, or many other like me, do for a living.

  19. Lutin

    RE: "Did you read mine?"

    Do a side-by-side comparison of opera mini and ical with google site compression.

    Load up news.bbc.co.uk.

    Tell me which browser loads it faster, which browser loads it better (as compared to a desktop browser) and which combines both best.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Close...

    ...but no cigar.

    I'm on GPRS (thanks, bloody crappy o2 3G service), and can't see the supposed speed increases, on the sites I visit. Wifi speed is as good as identical too. If speed is it's USP, it's not a good one based on my personal experiences.

    And when I do get there, the rendering is poorer than Safari - text & layout especially. And I just don't get on with the interface and the crude zooming.

    It's staying on the phone, but it's not replacing Safari on the dock just yet.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Searching a site

    "Custom searches are a real time-saver on Opera desktop: with one click you can set up, say, a search for The Register (or any site with an externally-accessible search field)"

    You do know that typing "site:theregister.co.uk keyword" into google does the same thing, I hope? What's more, the site doesn't need to have any search functionality at all, never mind externally-accessable...

    Guess what, you can bookmark the search too...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Got the cigar!

      Opera Mini is MUCH faster on anything but WiFi. On WiFi it's just modestly faster than Safari.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Cigars

        ...it's faster for you. But not me.

        I've done the bbc comparison, and saw a neglible improvement - it was small enough to question how accurately I had timed it.

        I've also tried this site too. This site appeared crudely laid out faster than safari, but by the time the page was fully loaded, I'd only say it was 2 second faster at best. On the 3 attempts I tried, that varies from 0-10% faster only.

        I was on GPRS(E) at the time (16:00 UK)

        More importantly, due to the clunky zooming and navigation, I was actually slower getting to the content I wanted, compared to Safari.

        All I'm saying is...People here are saying it's faster, with slightly evangelical overtones - the implication is that people who don't see it being faster are obviously doing something wrong. Just because Opera say it's faster, doesn't make it so. Just check out the weaseling that goes on in the graphics market, to see where this sort of marketing can lead in the wrong hands.

        Don't get me wrong - while my 10% *is* faster, it's not FASTER...not fast enough for me to say "bloody hell that was quick". And given GPRS, 10% is small varience, given the range of signal quality you can receive anyway. I could hold my phone above my head, and get a 10% improvement. Or degredation.

        If you're genuinely getting faster browsing...good on ya. I'm not.

    2. Nexox Enigma

      Nope

      """You do know that typing "site:theregister.co.uk keyword" into google does the same thing, I hope? What's more, the site doesn't need to have any search functionality at all, never mind externally-accessable..."""

      Eh, it doesn't do the same thing at all. Using Google to search a page is distinctly not at all the same as using a site's built in search. Not that Google doesn't do it better sometimes, but there is no equivalence. On my desktop Opera install I have shortcut searches to internal / passworded websites that Google cannot index, and I imagine that if I could use Opera on my mobile devices I'd want to do the same.

      Plus, typing one letter and then your search term is somewhat better than typing a different one letter (to search Google) then your search term, then the site: keyword, especially on a mobile keyboard.

      Clearly you haven't used this feature at all.

  22. Steve Pettifer
    WTF?

    @Anonymous Coward - "Close..."

    Sorry, but you can't be looking very hard. I only get GPRS in my office so I tried the BBC news site on Safari and then Opera and Opera blew Safari into the weeds as far as speed of loading the page goes. The Turbo feature is about improving the speed experience on GPRS and 2G (EDGE) networks: Not so much 3G, and WiFi won't improve any at all because the point about a WiFi connection is that you are likely to be connected at 1Mbps or more in most cases (bar some crappy public hotspots) and therefore the compression might actually cause a very small slowdown, although not a noticeable one.

    And as for searching a site - well, where to begin? I have opera set up to use 'g' as a shortcut to search google. I could easily set one up such as 'gs' which basically does site:myurl keyword. Yes, you can bookmark searches but if we're into pedantry here (and lets face it - we're discussing search shortcuts on El Reg like true commentards so we definitely are pedants!) but the point of the Opera saved searches is that I can open opera and type in the nescesary string straight away rather than going to a bookmark (or even speed dial) and then typing it into Google and so on. Sure, it save mere seconds but its more about the faff - I can use fewer key and mouse strokes so its easier to do. Each to their own though - some prefer doing it a different and maybe longer way to others.

  23. Mike White
    Thumb Up

    I'm liking it

    yes if you have it in standard mode then the full page rendering is illegible but I personally like the mobile view where it puts everything into on column. Instant legibility & scrolls a lot quicker as well.

    Works especially well for forums where you're looking at a latest posts list.

    As for Google.co.uk, I've just added it to the speed dial page

  24. madgunde 1
    FAIL

    Safari DOES sync bookmarks!

    "Mini also boasts also some very nice user-friendly features absent in Safari, such as saving web pages, searching inside a page, custom searches, and bookmark sync."

    Huh? The iPhone and mobile Safari have had bookmark sync since version 1.0 via iTunes, hasn't it? Then later they added over the air syncing via MobileMe, so not sure where Mr. Orlowski got that idea.

  25. Watashi

    SkyFire is better

    I use SkyFire on my Nokia smartphone and find it to be a better browser than Opera Mobile. It's a bit more intuitive and gives an experience closer to full web browsing. I haven't noticed it being any slower than Opera Mobile either.

    However, for browsing websites with a mobile version, Opera Mini is very good.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Skyfire is pants

      Skyfire is atrocious.

      The UI sucks. It's ugly. It lags when zooming and panning.

      And the so-called Flash capabilities are just a joke. What, a SLIDESHOW? Geez.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Headmaster

      Better?

      Perhaps you'd like to tell the class where they can download this 'Skyfire' for their iPhones?

  26. Gilbo
    Thumb Up

    Two Camps

    It seems there are, understandably, two divided camps on just how good this first released is.

    One the one hand you have a browser with blazing speed and some nice, useful functions that make intensive browsing significantly more pleasant. The speed alone makes it worth having purely as a backup for times of weak signal strength and the bookmark syncing is a god send.

    On the other hand, though, the aethetics and ease of use just clearly aren't there yet. Scrolling isn't as smooth, it certainly isn't as sensitive to the actual direction your sliding in and when in doubt tries to lock to the side of a frame yet continue scrolling on the remaining axis.

    However, from mine and a few friend's opinions, there are two major dealbreakers. Font and image rendering when zoomed out is appalling and a pinch merely results in a toggle between fully IN and fully OUT. You can't even pinch in a little bit just to see the read the part of the page you really want to zoom in on. This isn't a pleasant, sensitive or intuitive experience at all and in all but the most rare of cases it's this experience that most iPhone users will miss the most. In effect, it's little different to Opera Mini on any other phone which is precisely why Safari is so popular.

    Aside from pure speed, everything that makes Safari so good for day to day use on the iPhone is everything that's missing from Opera Mini. Having a bunch of great features and awesome rendering speed is all well and nice in certain circumstances but if actually finding and reading what you want on a web page is in any way less easy or intuitive then it's always going to be in second place.

    I sincerely hope they improve upon it, and I'm sure they will. It's a superb first attempt, it's a reasonable alternative and for that alone it should be priased... but there's a little way to go yet before it replaces Safari as my browser of choice.

  27. Peter Bond
    Thumb Up

    Android browser

    nothing wrong with its "feel" or anything else for that matter.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      I'm sorry...

      ...but what is the relevance of that? There is nothing wrong with the look and feel of Safari either! It's performance, in my experience, is at least on a par with Android's browser! Opera's first attempt in speed terms is mighty impressive too, faster than *any* mobile browser I've ever used--just needs some UI tweaks on the platform that everyone else here is *actually* discussing...

    2. chuckc
      Stop

      Re: Android Browser

      Many of the complaints exposed here regardin Opera Mini can be extended to Android's default browser. Pinch-to-zoom is lame and not very precise, tap to zoom on a paragraph doesn't work very well and scrolling doesn't run at 60fps. All in all it is a much less pleasant to use browser than mobile Safari. That's why iPhones sell by the bucketload, the details.

  28. Goat Jam
    FAIL

    Epic Fail

    Opera Mini apparently doesn't use port 80.

    This means that it doesn't work on wifi networks that are firewalled. Like almost all corporate networks.

    It just sits there with the loading animation going round and round until I turn off wi-fi (and go outside to get a signal) therefore switching to 3G.

    What a joke.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Epic Fail on your part

      The epic fail here is on your part.

      Opera Mini doesn't handle the page itself, but relies on a server to do it. So if you don't have a connection to the server it's obviously not going to work.

      Are you seriously saying that you expected a browser which requires a remote server to work to use your intranet?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Humor?

      Is that post supposed to be a joke? It's not a serious post, surely?

      With the basic tenet of Opera Mini for the iPhone being that it is NOT a web browser, surely it's beyond comprehension that you'd be puzzled as to why you can't browse closed intranets with it?

      After all that's been written on The Register and elsewhere over the last few months, I'm absolutely stunned if you don't "get it".

      1. Annihilator
        FAIL

        @ Anonymous cowards

        I think the only WTFs are aimed at yourself - where does Goat Jam state he's trying to browse a closed Intranet?? The point is that Opera won't work through a firewall that only permits port 80 outbound traffic. The clue is in the fact that when switching wi-fi off and going to 3G, it works - now tell me how a closed Intranet would be accessible from a 3G network, and then let us all know when you "get it"

    3. shooi
      Happy

      Wi-Fi use is fine...

      Settings -> Advanced -> Protocol -> HTML

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Flash?

    What is to stop Flash getting onto the iPhone with this? Skyfire does it on Windows Mobile and appears to work on a similar principle.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Pirate

      Flash on the iPhone

      Perhaps this is what Opera meant when they referred to Opera Mini as being merely a first step?

      If Apple are adamant that they will not allow Flash on the iPhone, and Adobe can't talk to them like two disputing neighbours, and Apple have conceded that Opera Mini is not a browser... then surely it would be a killer feature if Opera added Flash Player to their servers and were able to translate it all into something Opera Mini can display with a reasonable user experience?

      And in the same way that none of the technology in Opera Mini was developed specifically for the iPhone, adding Flash support to Opera Mini means any Java capable phone can suddenly use Flash too if you install Opera Mini.

      Now doesn't that sound attractive, not to mention innovative and resourceful? I wonder what the future holds...

  30. Quxy
    Thumb Up

    Andrew has a Cupcake?

    Yes, as someone who finds my Android 2.1 WebKit browser to be generally on a par with my iPhone Safari browser, I'm puzzled by Andrew's comments. Perhaps his experience is limited to older Android releases.

    I also use Opera 5 on the Android, where it has almost the same pros and cons as Andrew described for the iPhone. It certainly has some nice additional features, like speed, Saved Pages, History, and Shortcuts.

    Moreover, I find scrolling to be smoother on Android than on the iPhone (perhaps just a faster processor?). Certainly the Android version doesn't exhibit the zoomed-out font and image rendering problems I notice on the iPhone.

    However, I really do miss the lack of pinch-to-zoom and continuously variable zoom of the Android and iPhone browsers. Navigating around a web page just isn't as smooth or pleasant an experience as on those two flagship browsers.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Guesstimate my shiny behind

    Dear author,

    Either you "guess" or you "estimate". These are perfectly serviceable, unambiguous words, and there is no need to mangle them into an ugly mess.

    Thank you,

    Your friendly neighbourhood word police

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Troll

      Guesstimate

      A guess is what people do when they pick their lottery numbers. Estimate is what people do when they buy enough paint for their walls.

      Guesstimate is what a woman does when she reverses into a parking space.

    2. Blain Hamon
      Headmaster

      guess-ti-mate. Noun or transitive verb.

      an estimate usually made without adequate information

      http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/guesstimate

      Or, if you insist on proper British english,

      an estimate based on a mixture of guesswork and calculation.

      http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/guesstimate?view=uk

  32. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Fast?!

    Did their servers die?

    I just downloaded Opera on my iPod touch (hence WiFi is working and strong) and it will not load any page when you open it, just busy cursor.

    Too successful?!

  33. Patrick O'Reilly
    Coat

    @Goat Jam

    Opera Mini can connect using two modes, Socket and HTTP.

    By default Opera Mini uses socket to connect (unsure of port number). I have experienced a similar issue and it is resolved simply by going into Settings -> Advanced and either running the network test or changing the protocol from socket to http.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Opera won't work

    First app that's ever failed on my iTelephone. It just doesn't finish loading :(

  35. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Not for me...

    Is it fast? yes, BLAZING fast.

    It LOADS pages very quickly, and navigation is fine.

    PROBLEM: (BIG problem) USING a page is not viable other than simple HTML links. Drop downs don't work, interactive features don't work, animation doesn't play, and more. It;s a "view it as usefully as you could print it" but thats all. I can not use this as a browser for research or interacting with sites, I can't even COMMENT on most sites with it, and most sites also don't allow the use of logins and other form fields through it.

    Its useless.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Grapple and PULL ye louts!

    Guess Opera's boarding party has finally busted its way in. About time.

    There is now an Opera Mini folder in Opera Link. This makes it easier to find YouTube links and other crap from checking webmail. If you wish for certain sites to be available on your mobile, please to add them to the Opera Mini folder in your Bookmarks.

    Not so certain about Notes; perhaps they also intend an Opera Mini folder for that...? Works fine among my computers.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Total Opera Dominance...

    http://files.myopera.com/haavard/albums/747255/itunes_topcharts_2010-04-14_medium.png

    http://www.apple.com/euro/itunes/charts/apps/top10appstorefree.html

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Pint

      Typical Brits

      I suppose it was inevitable that the first country to end Opera's grandslam and see it drop from the number one slot would be the UK.... where it got usurped by a game of Simple Simon!

      Sounds like something from a Douglas Adams novel.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    2/10

    It's always nice to have an alternative but that's about it for me !

    - Fail to Start sometimes

    - Not noticeably faster here in Luxembourg 3G

    - Does not work with the WIFI Spots authentications

    - Is not recognized as Iphone so a lot of site you get the wrong version ...

    - Even if faster, I really hate that ALL that I visit/Type is passing by Opera Server !! Do you trust them ?

    Cheers Miles

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